Thursday, February 26, 2009

Review: The Best Birth

When pregnant with my first, we skipped the birthing classes. Kinda dumb I know, but hubby didn't want to go (silly classes!) and a friend told me how helpful the nurses were anyways. Well......I did not have such helpful nurses! In fact, they were less than helpful.

So there I was, not really knowing what to do (I'd read some books, but it just wasn't the same as someone literally showing you! Plus my husband didn't read any of them) and the hubby was at a loss as well. I went in wanting a natural birth and ended up with an epidural. I just didn't know how to get through the pain.

This time around I know it'll be different. For one, I've been through it before and I know to speak up for myself. Secondly, I just watched The Best Birth.

I had actually rented a couple birthing videos before, but they were so old school. You know..... old. Think big hair, mustaches, bright colors, and large glasses. I knew watching just a few minutes of the movies that there was no way my husband would even consider watching them. Plus they were full of odd breathing patterns, and just, well.....very 1980's. I couldn't even get myself to watch them!

This video is completely different though. It's done by Sarah McMoyler, a San Francisco labor and delivery nurse (for over 20 years), who has attended thousands of births and taught thousands more her McMoyler Method. What grabbed my attention was her saying
"couple after couple arrive in the delivery room unprepared: moms were not coping with pain, partners were clueless about how to help, and neither was able to communicate and make decisions effectively with the healthcare team."
Yup, that was us to a "T".

This video was actually made recently! Like last year! So the people in the class are people you'd see walking down the street. And the medical terms they use are the same terms your doctor now uses!

What I really liked about the video was her constant stressing that a womans body was made to give birth. Her body knows what to do, it's just her head that gets in the way! (But she also talks about medication and epidurals for those that decide to take them. In that aspect I really wish I had seen this the first time around as I did end up getting an epidural. She's very candid on what happens to the body and the baby once medication is introduced, as well as future medical intervention because of the epidural)

The video starts out by having a section on the actual anatomy of giving birth. She shows what happens, why it happens, how long it takes, etc. Then moves on to the phases of delivery; early labor, active labor and transition. During the transition segment they do show a clip of a woman, going through a natural childbirth, to which every woman in the "class" started crying.

My husband laughed at all the tears.

I quickly turned and wiped mine away!

She also gives some great coping techniques for dealing with the pain. And the fun part of the video was she had the guys doing all the "acting". Not only did this section help me out and prepare me to know what to do and how to cope, I think it also helped my husband realize what an important part of labor he was going to be. Because it's all about the support you get. Plus, I'm hoping maybe he'll remember certain techniques if I forget!

The video also includes things like what to expect during a C-section in case one is medically necessary, different medical interventions that might take place, and of course a segment on medications.

And of course the all important segment: Pushing is an Attitude. It was quite an indepth segment on how to push and the why's of pushing, and different pushing techniques. I loved the fact that she recommended using different positions during all that pushing. Since it can take awhile! But then I ended up in tears again as they did show a short clip of a baby being born and it got me all thinking about my own little babe that I'll get to see here in a matter of weeks.

All in all I'd recommend this to anyone who needs some advice on giving birth. And I really hope during this next birth of mine that I have a nurse like her! I owe a big thanks to Mom Fuse and The Best Birth for allowing me to review this video. The video itself (193 minutes long) can be purchased from the website for $34.99 or you can even watch it via webcast. (you know, in case you're due tomorrow and haven't learned anything yet!) Or if you're a reader the book can be bought as well for $12.95. But seriously....the video is great!


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